Stepping into the spotlight

Fresno State softball’s junior second baseman Jenna Cervantez has been a model of consistency and performance in her first two and a half seasons with the Bulldogs.

After a stellar career with the Clovis High Cougars, where she played and started all four years for the varsity softball team and won numerous awards throughout the valley, Cervantez has made a seamless transition to the arena of college softball.

A transition that was made easier by her friends, family and teammates living in Fresno. Although Cervantez was courted by several other major college programs, including Arizona State and Louisville, she elected to stay in Fresno because of the bonds that she had already forged here.

“It’s been fun coming here with some of the girls that I played with in high school,� she said of her current Fresno State teammates.

“I wanted to stay home and close to my family. Plus I just really liked the program a lot.�

Her decision to stay in Fresno and play for the Bulldogs is now proving fruitful for both her and for the program. Thus far, Cervantez
has started every game at second base for the Bulldogs and has improved with each season.

As a freshman, she had her struggles at the plate, but remained in the line-up due to her steadfast glove in the field. During her sophomore season she improved at the plate by increasing both her batting average and RBIs for the season while sporting an impressive 43-game errorless streak in the field.

This season, Cervantez’s game has continued to blossom.

She is fourth on the team with an impressive .345 batting average and is on pace to again eclipse her RBI total from last season.

But these facts don’t surprise Bulldogs softball coach Margie Wright one bit.

“I just think Jenna is a phenomenal ballplayer,� Wright said. “And I think she’s finally realized how good she can be and how good she really is, and it’s showing up in her performance.�

But this perpetual development that Cervantez has displayed in her time at Fresno State does not occur without a proper outlook on life and on sports. And it is that positive outlook that has helped Cervantez become the player she is today.

“My goal is just to learn something new every day,� Cervantez said. “To grow everyday as a person and a softball player.�

But, she was also quick to point out that foremost on her mind, more than personal goals, were the goals of the team.

“I want to help the team get to the World Series and win the WAC, because that is our ultimate goal.�

This refreshingly selfless attitude has not been lost on her teammates or on coach Wright. Wright gave a glowing endorsement of both the play and leadership qualities of Cervantez.

“Jenna has always been a very stable player, but this year in particular she’s stepped it up to another level both defensively and offensively,� Wright said. “And it’s great to see that from her because she is an upperclassman and she is definitely a leader on this team.�

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